England’s Gary Ballance unavailable for county selection due to anxiety and stress

England’s Gary Ballance unavailable for county selection due to anxiety and stress

Ballance hasn't played any form of cricket since September 2019.

Gary Balance
Gary Balance. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Gary Ballance, the Yorkshire batsman, has made himself unavailable for selection for the ongoing county season. On Saturday, August 22, Yorkshire mentioned that the 30-year-old southpaw has been going through “heightened feelings of anxiety and stress” owing to the lockdown period in the global coronavirus pandemic.

The left-hander hasn’t been a part of the Bob Willis Trophy, England’s first-class tournament, though he has been working hard on his training and fitness. It has also been learned that the medical team has been helping Ballance out to stage a comeback. The club is also keeping the batsman’s well-being as one of their top-most priorities.

“Gary is currently managing some heightened feelings of anxiety and stress following a long period of isolation due to the Covid-19 lockdown, his own recent viral illness and other personal factors,” the club said in a statement, reported by Cricbuzz.

Yorkshire prioritising Gary Ballance’s health and well-being  

“The post-viral symptoms have affected his physical preparation for this shortened cricket season. He is currently unavailable for selection and we are unable to put any timescales on his return to playing at this time. However, Gary has increased his training volumes over the last week and is working hard both in the nets and on his general fitness,” the statement read.

“Gary’s health and well-being remains our priority and the Club and medical staff will continue to work closely with Gary to support his return to playing as soon as possible,” it added. Balance last played competitive cricket back in September 2019.

Balance’s career for the Brits hasn’t looked in great shape. In 23 Tests and 16 ODIs, he has scored 1,498 and 297 runs with four centuries and nine half-centuries. The Zimbabwe-born last donned the national jersey in a Test against South Africa in 2017 at the Trent Bridge in Nottingham.

As far as Yorkshire are concerned, they have made a decent start to the Bob Willis Trophy, winning two out of their first three matches against Nottinghamshire and Durham. Their first match against Derbyshire ended in a draw. For the time being, Steven Patterson and Co are busy playing their North Group match against Lancashire at the Headingley in Leeds.